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Sri Lanka's vital EU trade privileges hang in the balance

Dark human rights record could nix tax-free status in largest export market

The European Union will visit Sri Lanka next week to see if a desperately needed trading concession should be suspended because of a recent "U-turn" there on human rights. (Nikkei montage/Reuters)

COLOMBO -- When a special five-member European Union delegation arrives in Colombo on Monday, its review of a vital trade concession could lead to substantial export losses for Sri Lanka, which has already suffered a steep drop in foreign reserves.

The European delegation will confer with stakeholders to learn more about something else many believe to again be in decline in the South Asian island nation: human rights.

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